An Austrian shares his passion for the clarinet in Beijing

Updated: 2016-10-17 08:01

By Chen Nan(China Daily)

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An Austrian shares his passion for the clarinet in Beijing

Clarinetist Andreas Ottensamer on his recent visit to Beijing. [Photo provided to China Daily]

"I like the sound of the clarinet, which can be melancholy, outgoing or crazy.

"I am very lucky that I had the chance to experience various instruments. It helps a lot to understand the difficulties and possibilities of different instruments and broadens your imagination of sound and interpretation."

The young Austrian gained his first orchestral experience with the Vienna State Opera and the Vienna Philharmonic.

In 2009, he interrupted his Harvard studies to become a scholar of the Orchestra Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic. In 2013, he became the principal clarinetist of the Berlin Philharmonic.

Despite his achievements at a young age, the clarinetist says that he has never had goals in his life "because it's dangerous".

"I just focus on the things I am doing, like the show I give in Beijing," he says.

In 2013, he forged an exclusive recording partnership with Mercury Classics/Deutsche Grammophon-the first solo clarinetist to sign an exclusive deal with the label.

His debut album, Portraits-The Clarinet Album, was released internationally in June 2013. It explores his love for both jazz and classical music, with a program of wide-ranging musical styles-from the early-Romantic intensity of Louis Spohr to the jazz inflections of George Gershwin.

He has just finished recording a new album, which goes back to the beginning of the music pieces written for clarinet.

"In 1777, Mozart heard the clarinet in Mannheim, a small town in Germany. Being impressed with the instrument, he wrote a letter to his father, saying that he would write more music for this instrument," says Ottensamer.

For the new album, he also invited his colleagues at the Berlin Philharmonic to join in the recording.

"One of the biggest challenges I faced during the recording was being without a conductor," he says. "I did the job mostly by myself and it was fascinating."


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